CIP Board of Directors
  • ├ôscar Arias S├ínchez co-chair

Óscar Arias Sánchez was president of Costa Rica from 2006 to 2010. He previously served as President from 1986 to 1990 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.

Oscar Arias Sánchez embarked on his political career in 1970 as assistant to José Figueres, a former president who was again seeking election. When Figueres was elected in 1972, Arias was given a seat in the government as minister of national planning and political economy. In 1975 his party elected him international secretary and in 1979, general secretary. He represented the party at several Socialist International congresses.

In the 1978 elections, when the Christian Social Unity Party won the presidency, Arias was elected to the Legislative Assembly but withdrew in 1981 to work for his party's presidential candidate, Luis Alberto Monge, who won in 1982. Nominated himself in 1985, Arias was elected president in 1986. As president, he intervened against the activities of U.S.-backed Contras on Costa Rican territory. Although critical of the political system in Nicaragua, Arias has concentrated on engaging Nicaragua and the other Central American states in a peace-making process. In May 1986, he met the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua to discuss the proposals for a peaceful solution that had been worked out by the Contadora group. They did not reach full agreement, but early in 1987 Arias succeeded in calling a new meeting at which he submitted his own peace plan, departing in some respects from the Contadora plan. The accord approved by the five presidents in Guatemala onAugust 7 was based on President Arias's plan.  In 1987 Arias was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to end the wars in Central America.